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I love you like it hurts

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Matsuda never thought someone as beautiful as Light could cry. It was a silly thought, really. One based on the fantasies Matsuda liked to entertain in his head, where knights rescued princesses and dragons hoarded precious jewels and people as pretty and kind and nice as Light never had anything to cry over. But somehow, the revelation shook him nonetheless.

He had found Light, hunched over himself yet curled into an almost fetal position, and it had struck Matsuda all at once that despite appearances, Light was only 18.

For a moment, Matsuda had stood over him. Because Matsuda wanted to reach out, to touch him and rock him and whisper that “Everything is going to be alright” (even if he did not know what the alright was). But. Matsuda knew that if he reached out wrong, with the slightest twist of his wrist in a perpendicular direction, perhaps, Light would unravel into oblivion.

So he waited. Arms heavy. Heart heavier.

“What are you looking at, Matsuda-san?” Light whispered. Matsuda imagined he held his face between his hands, only peaking out at the ground through the cracks in his fingers.

“You.” Matsuda whispered back, tongue somehow fumbling over the solitary word. His arms ached to move, but he held them back.

“Stop.” It came out as a hiccup, creaking and breaking into “Sto-op”. “Please stop.”

“I- Let me help you, ok?” Without waiting for an answer, Matsuda crouched down until he sat on the floor behind Light. Gently, he placed his arms around him.

Light didn't push him away.

“What- Why are you crying, Light?” He asked the question simply, hopefully. Because, maybe he could fix it.

“My Dad. He- You know I'm a boy, right?” Light’s head whipped around, so he could stare Matsuda in his eyes.

“Of course, Light. You are a very handsome young man.” Tentatively, Matsuda started to pat Light on his shoulders.

Light didn't acknowledge the compliment. “Because Dad says he does. Know that I'm a boy. But I don't think he thinks it. Because he treats me like a girl still, like how he treated me before and he only sometimes remembers my name and he still talks to me like I'm a girl and I hate it because I know it could be worse and I think I hate him too but-”

Matsuda pulled Light to his chest, burying Light’s head against his shoulder. With one hand, he stroked his fingers through Light’s hair like he would with a pet. Light let him.

“Do… you want me to talk to him?” Matsuda asked. Gently, he started to rock both himself and Light.

“Tell him I hate him. That I don't want to go back home.” Light bit out between his teeth.

“I- He won't like that.”

“Well I don't like him either!”

Matsuda rocked them harder.

“I- I can't break up your family, alright?” No matter how much being able to hold Light, to rock him in his arms, made Matsuda want to. “Maybe I could talk to him about being trans, right? And maybe I could knock some sense into him, too. So he'll stop hurting you like that.”

Light didn't respond for a very long while, so long that Matsuda wondered if Light even considered him worthy enough for a response.

Then, he whispered. “I think I would like that very much. You're like a knight, you know. My champion.” Gently, Light pressed his forehead into Matsuda’s chest.

Matsuda sat, not rocking, with Light breathing softly in his arms.